Friday, January 03, 2003
Lots and lots of stuff coming in on the FAQ line... Let's see:

Dear Neil,
I have completely, really, really finished up THE THOMAS LIGOTTI READER
and am ready to have another go at THE NEIL GAIMAN READER, so I'd appreciate
it if you'd run my notice again on your website:

Darrell Schweitzer is seeking contributions for THE NEIL GAIMAN READER,
a volume of critical essays on all aspects of Neil Gaiman's work, to be
published by Wildside Press in 2003. Ideal word-length would be 2-5000
words. Essays should be written in an accessible style with a minimum of
academic jargon. See such other Schweitzer-edited symposia such as
READER, etc. for an idea of what is being sought. Query first with topic
ideas to Payment is a 1 cent a word advance against a
pro rata share of royalties. There is no specific deadline. The book will be
turned in to the publisher when it is full. Obviously early submissions have
the advantage over late ones.


Darrell Schweitzer

And an award, which is very cool:

I recieved my copy of "Affaire de Coeur" in the mail today, it's a magazine made up primarily of romance reviews (I do some reviews for them) and the reason why I'm emailing you is to let you now that "American Gods" won the Golden Headset Awards for 2002, in the Best Unabridged Audio category. You were listed with "Desecration", "The Summons", "The Salmon of Doubt", "Flesh & Blood", "Oh the Things I Know Now", "Everything But the Truth", "The Snow Garden", "Midnight Runner", "The Tallman" and "The Black House". Bennet Pomerantz, who put this together, said "All were great this year, but the winner is Neil Gaiman's American Gods. This lesson through gods and legends is a fable for adults regarding faith and truth in oneself."

Which reminds me, I need to remind HarperAudio about bringing out an MP3 version of the American Gods audio...

Dear Neil,

I remember reading your intro to the H.P. Lovecraft dream collection and I was wondering if you ever heard of anyone publishing his stories recently in their comic book form? I know he used to write for "Weird Tales" and I would love to see some modern comic artist's take on his words.

Thank, and here is to a year with out lawsuits.


There have been some terrific Lovecraft adaptations -- Bernie Wrightson did an amazing Cool Air. John Coulthart has done some astonighing work. Let's see -- you know if you type Lovecraft, Comics and Adaptations into google you get a bunch of dedicated pages. and should keep you happy for a good while.

Not a question, but an article about a tv show tonight on PBS' Frontline about Shakespeare and Marlowe you might find interesting. -Larry,0,3580480.story?coll=sfla%2Dentertainment%2Dheadlines

I don't have much time for the Shakespeare wasn't Shakespeare people overall, as the engine that seems to drive so many of them is snobbery. They want Shakespeare to have been an aristocrat, and not a base-born playwright. (The only one I make an exception for is my friend Matthew, who recently discovered that he's descended from the Earl of Oxford, and so thinks Oxford ought to have been Shakespeare because he'd like to be descended from the bloke that wrote the plays as well. Oh, and the lady who wrote a cookbook I was given, which I still sometimes use, in which I found, at the back (unread) signed by the author, a pamphlet definitively proving that Shakespeare was the Earl of Essex, because I felt sorry for her.)

But the Shakespeare was really Marlowe people leave me shaking my head. It's like claiming that Alan Moore also writes the comics attributed to Frank Miller, that John Lennon faked his death and writes songs under the name of Stephin Merritt (hiring the real Merritt to perform them in public), or that J.R.R. Tolkien also wrote the books commonly attributed to Robert Heinlein.

Ok, so I've checked everywhere, online blogs, reviews, the Sandman companion et al, and I know that you've done a lot since Sandman, which I really enjoy as well, BUT if you recall a bloke who was on crutches in Glasgow in the summer of 2001 who wanted to say something cool and not "I've loved all your works and I'm doing my dissertation on you", you were kind enough to say that you'd answer some questions for it via this website. Now, you're very busy, and your summation of the year far exceeds mine, but this diss has to be handed in in a few months, and if I am able to get these few answers Id be over the moon... so...
1 - Can you commment on how Morpheus' life is all well and good while he is more feminine and feline, but as son as becomes msculine and canine his life turns to crud? (I'm thinking about narrative here and mostly subcontext esp. with Barnabas as canine and Destruction elements, while Bast is hanging on and more creative in her own way...)
2 - Whats more important to you, getting the right words or the right artist and image?
2a - Which, do you feel, contributes more to the narrative of Sandman as a whole?
3 - If you had the chance to change a page of text or image for any reason, would you and if so what?
and finally as I'm probably taking the mick by asking so much anyway, (so what the heck!)...
4 - Would it be possible to look at any other scripts? Calliope has aided me in the construction aspect of narrative but the more the merrier...

1. Nope. For that one you're on your own.

2. When I'm writing comics, getting the whole right is the most important. If given the choice between having the wrong artist and the wrong word, I'd take the wrong word and the right artist. But then, I'm never sure if I did get the right words. (Except for possibly "Lady, I'm your worst nightmare -- a pumpkin with a gun.")

2a. It's a both thing. You can define narrative to make it the story or to make it the whole, and you can emphasise different aspects. If you take away the pictures you don't have a comic, just a bunch of word balloons and captions; if you take away the story, you're left with meaningless images. It's like asking who contributes more to a finished movie, the screenwriter or the cinematographer, or which is more important to a film's narrative, the soundtrack or the pictures... It's the whole that's important.

3 Is there anything I'd change? Not really. I wish I had been a better writer when I was writing the first dozen Sandmans, and I wish the colour separations on Brief Lives hadn't been so dreadful, but beyond that, it is what it is, and I'm content with that. "Be kind to your mistakes," as Kate Bush so wisely said.

4 Sandman scripts... Hmmm. I'll see what I can do. Maybe I'll stick some up over at the DreamHaven site ( Does anyone have any scripts they'd particularly like to see?

One thing left off of your year in review --- you gave a wonderful speech at the ALA "Get Graphic @ Your Library" preconference. It was great to see you there (and get that early copy of Coraline). Since this summer, my library system has ordered hundreds of graphic novel titles, including most of yours.

David Serchay

You're quite right. That was a terrific conference.

I seem to recall you saying you like to know who the artist on a comic will be before you write it. Now that two of the Endless Nights stories have changed artists, are you going to change anything in the stories to fit your new collaborators better?

I've offered to (and am happy to). Having said that, we wound up sort of upside-downing it: having written a story with a specific feeling and look and emotion, it was then a matter of trying to figure out who else could give us that feeling and emotion and sensibility.

Neil -

Just a query. I am having breast reduction on Jan 13th (One thing you'll find about people who are having a BR - we talk about it. A LOT). Anywhoo, I have been asking people I know and/or trust to give me a list of their top 5 films of all time, which I will attempt to compile so I will have lots of interesting things to watch while I am recouperating. Since I usually go out and lemming-like purchase everything you post about on this site, I thought perhaps you could suggest YOUR top 5 list. (MY friends are also lending me their copies of the obscure films on their lists, but I would never be so bold as to ask that of you...)

Thank You,

Let's see, Shalene. My lists tend to be a bit mutable -- off the top of my head, a list of my top five films as of right now (ie it might not be a list of my top five films tomorrow) would be something like...


Tomorrow THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY or THE APARTMENT or THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS or NIGHT OF THE DEMON or DROWNING BY NUMBERS might move in, and I have no idea what would be on the list the day after that. ALL THAT JAZZ tends to stay at the top though.

Good luck with the surgery.